AP source: Watson willing to accept 8-game suspension, fine

Thu Aug 11 6:09pm ET
By ROB MAADDI and TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writers

Related photo caption below

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson takes part in drills during the NFL football team's training camp, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)


Related photo caption below

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson gives autographs to fans after the NFL football team's training camp, Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Nick Cammett)


Related photo caption below

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson prepares to throw a pass during the NFL football team's training camp, Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Nick Cammett)


Related photo caption below

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson gestures to fans during the NFL football team's training camp, Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Nick Cammett)


Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson would accept an eight-game suspension and $5 million fine to avoid missing the entire season, a person familiar with his defense told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Watson, who is facing a potential year-long ban for sexual misconduct, would agree to a lesser penalty in a settlement, said the person who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

The biggest question is whether the NFL would make this compromise.

A settlement has always been possible, but it's not clear if the sides are in active discussions.

The league is seeking a minimum suspension of 17 games, a significant fine over $5 million and wants Watson to be required to undergo evaluation and treatment as determined by medical experts before he could be reinstated.

An independent arbitrator suspended Watson, accused of lewd sexual behavior during massage appointments with two dozen women while he played for the Houston Texans, six games for violating the league's personal conduct policy on Aug. 1.

The league felt the punishment wasn't enough and appealed retired federal judge Sue L. Robinson's ruling two days later.

Asked Tuesday at the owner's meetings why the appeal was filed, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said: ''Because we've seen the evidence.''

''She (Robinson) was very clear about the evidence. She reinforced the evidence, that there was multiple violations here and they were egregious, and that it was predatory behavior,'' Goodell added.

''Those were always things we felt was really important for us to address and in a way that's responsible.''

Watson's case now rests with Peter C. Harvey, a former New Jersey Attorney General appointed last week by Goodell to handle the league's appeal. Harvey's decision could come at any time.

Harvey's decision ''will be binding,'' per the collective bargaining agreement. However, the NFL Players Association could try to challenge his ruling in federal court. A settlement would avoid that.

Meanwhile, Watson is scheduled to make his debut for the Browns on Friday night in their exhibition opener at Jacksonville. The three-time Pro Bowler has continued to practice during his high-profile case, which has brought renewed criticism of the league's handling of player discipline.

The Browns, who have spent years looking for a franchise QB, traded three first-round draft picks to Houston in March for Watson and then signed him to a five-year, $230 million contract.

Cleveland's plan all along has been to play Jacoby Brissett, who has made 37 career starts, while Watson serves a suspension. However, that could change if Watson is out much longer or for the entire 2022 season.

One possible option for the Browns could be Jimmy Garoppolo, who has been supplanted as San Francisco's starter by Trey Lance and is expected to be either traded or waived this month by the 49ers.

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The Paur Report

Starts, Sits, Sleepers: Week 4

Player Notes
Christian McCaffrey Oct 2 10:50am ET
Christian McCaffrey

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (thigh) is currently listed as questionable heading into the Week 4 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. However, it sounds like the team wants McCaffrey to go through his pregame warmups. The team wants to see McCaffrey out on the field before they make their final decision. All signs are pointing to McCaffrey being active, but fantasy managers will have to wait and see. He will be a must-start, assuming he's active. The Cardinals do have a strong run defense, but McCaffrey remains one of the best backs in the league when healthy.

From RotoBaller

Chris Godwin Oct 2 10:43am ET
Chris Godwin

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) is expected to play in Week 4's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Fantasy Spin: Godwin had been listed as questionable on the injury report after logging two limited practice sessions during the week. He can be a starting option in fantasy leagues but owners should have a backup plan in place since the Buccaneers won't play until Sunday night.

From TheHuddle

Pharaoh Brown Oct 2 10:40am ET
Pharaoh Brown

Houston Texans tight end Pharaoh Brown (shoulder) is listed as questionable for the Week 4 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Texans have already ruled out Brevin Jordan (shoulder) for this contest. They've elevated Jordan Atkins and Mason Schreck with the team short on options at tight end. Brown was able to practice in full on Wednesday and Thursday. However, he was limited on Friday, which raises the question on whether or not he'll suit up. Regardless, O.J. Howard is really the only tight end worth looking at in Houston right now. He'll have some TE2 value in deep leagues for this upcoming contest, but could have increased value if Brown is out.

From RotoBaller

Julio Jones Oct 2 10:33am ET
Julio Jones

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Julio Jones (knee) is expected to play in Week 4's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Fantasy Spin: Jones had been listed as questionable on the injury report after logging two limited practice sessions during the week. At best, he should be considered a risky flex option in fantasy leagues because the Buccaneers won't play until Sunday night and also because he is coming off a knee injury which has caused him to miss the last two games, meaning that his offensive snaps could be limited.

From TheHuddle

Lewis Cine Oct 2 10:30am ET
Lewis Cine

Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine (leg) was carted off the field after an ugly play during the Week 4 matchup against the New Orleans Saints. The rookie safety was put on a backboard and onto a cart before exiting the field. The entire Vikings surrounded Cine in what looked to be a horrendous leg injury. He will be transported to a nearby hospital. The organization should give updates on Cine later in the day. Although, the 22-year-old is likely to miss significant time after that incident.

From RotoBaller

Russell Gage Oct 2 10:23am ET
Russell Gage

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Russell Gage Jr. (hamstring) is expected to play in Week 4's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Fantasy Spin: Gage had been listed as questionable on the injury report after logging two limited practice sessions during the week. He makes a risky fantasy option this week because the Buccaneers won't play until Sunday night and they are also expected to get several of their top receivers back versus the Chiefs, making Gage's role in the offense uncertain.

From TheHuddle

Tyrion Davis-Price Oct 2 10:20am ET
Tyrion Davis-Price

San Francisco 49ers running back Tyrion Davis-Price (ankle) has been ruled out for the Week 4 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. This marks his second game in a row that he's forced to miss due to a high-ankle sprain. The expectation is that Jeff Wilson Jr. will continue being the lead back in San Francisco. He played 73% of the offensive snaps during Week 3. Wilson should be considered a low-end RB2 for this upcoming matchup. Jordan Mason is expected to back him up, but won't have much value with Wilson playing over 70% of the snaps.

From RotoBaller

Justin Herbert Oct 2 10:10am ET
Justin Herbert

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (ribs) continues to play through fractured rib cartilage, but he is progressing. The organization mentioned that they plan on being more aggressive with their play-calling in Week 4 against the Houston Texans. Clearly, they trust that Herbert is healthy enough that they don't need to limit their playbook. Fantasy managers should expect a strong outing from Herbert in Week 4. He'll play a winless Texans defense, so Herbert should be considered a strong QB1 for this one.

From RotoBaller

Zach Wilson Oct 2 10:00am ET
Zach Wilson

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (knee) is set to make his season debut against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4. The second-year quarterback missed the first three games after suffering a meniscus injury and a bone bruise in his knee during the preseason. Surprisingly, the Jets have looked halfway decent with veteran Joe Flacco under center. Despite that, Wilson will get the keys to the offense going forward. However, the organization is tempering their expectations for Wilson in his return. The 23-year-old does have potential, but remains a low-end QB2 right now.

From RotoBaller

Jason Pierre-Paul Oct 2 9:50am ET
Jason Pierre-Paul

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul plans on making his team debut against the Buffalo Bills in Week 4. The veteran linebacker signed with the team last week. The Ravens are in desperate need of help after losing three linebackers due to injury. The expectation is Pierre-Paul will immediately slide into a significant role on defense. This doesn't completely fix their problems, but the addition of Pierre-Paul should help ease the loss of the other players.

From RotoBaller

Velus Jones Jr. Oct 2 9:40am ET
Velus Jones Jr.

Chicago Bears wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. (hamstring) is expected to make his NFL debut against the New York Giants in Week 4. The third-round rookie has missed the first three weeks due to a lingering hamstring issue. Luckily, it sounds like he's ready to go here, which is a boost for the Bears offense. Although, the Bears have thrown the ball only 45 times through the first three games. Jones appears to be more of a deep league stash or dynasty hold right now. It's unlikely he has much fantasy value right out of the gate.

From RotoBaller

Joey Bosa Oct 2 9:40am ET
Joey Bosa

Los Angeles Chargers pass rusher Joey Bosa (groin) underwent surgery and is expected to miss roughly 8-10 weeks of action. The star defender suffered a torn groin in Week 3 and was immediately placed on the injured reserve. At this moment, it doesn't sound like Bosa is going to be back until the final month of the season. Luckily, the Chargers have Khalil Mack who has four sacks in three games. They will lean on Mack to do a majority of the damage without Bosa available. The loss of Bosa does make this defense less appealing to fantasy managers looking for a defense to stream.

From RotoBaller

J.J. Watt Oct 2 9:33am ET
J.J. Watt

Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt (calf) is expected to play in Week 4's game versus the Carolina Panthers, according to a source. Watt had been listed as questionable on the injury report after logging just one limited practice session during the week.

From TheHuddle

Dak Prescott Oct 2 9:30am ET
Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (thumb) is eyeing a potential return for the Week 5 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. There was a report last week that Prescott was pushing to play in Week 4. However, the organization doesn't want to push it and Week 5 is a more realistic timetable. The 29-year-old underwent surgery following the Week 1 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Cowboys have surprisingly been able to stay afloat with Cooper Rush under center. Although, these offense would obviously improve once Prescott returns.

From RotoBaller

Christian McCaffrey Oct 2 9:23am ET
Christian McCaffrey

Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (thigh) is expected to play in Week 4's game against the Arizona Cardinals, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: McCaffrey had been listed as questionable on the injury report after participating in just one of the team's three practice sessions during the week on a limited basis. Although he may not be at 100 percent, he should be a starting option in fantasy leagues if he is declared active. However, owners should have a backup plan in place, in the event that McCaffrey is unable to suit up this week.

From TheHuddle

Cairo Santos Oct 2 9:20am ET
Cairo Santos

Chicago Bears kicker Cairo Santos (personal) won't suit up for the Week 4 matchup against the New York Giants. He missed back-to-back practices this week due to a personal issue. Michael Badgley was added to the practice squad, so he's expected to be the active kicker on Sunday. The Bears offense hasn't been very impressive, so Badgley isn't worth a look in most fantasy formats. There should be better kickers available in Week 4.

From RotoBaller

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Oct 2 9:13am ET
Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Kansas City Chiefs WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (abdomen) expects to play in Week 4's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: Valdes-Scantling had been listed as questionable on the injury report after participating in two of the team's three practice sessions during the week on a limited basis. He has not had a great season statistically and can be avoided in most fantasy leagues even if he is declared active.

From TheHuddle

Zay Jones Oct 2 9:13am ET
Zay Jones

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Zay Jones (ankle) is expected to play in Week 4's game versus the Philadelphia Eagles, according to multiple sources.

Fantasy Spin: Jones had been listed as questionable on the injury report after missing one practice session during the week and being limited in another session. He has posted at least 65 yards in two of his three games this season and could be a potential flex option in fantasy leagues if he is declared active.

From TheHuddle

Cordarrelle Patterson Oct 2 9:03am ET
Cordarrelle Patterson

Atlanta Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) is pushing to play in Week 4's game against the Cleveland Browns. There is optimism that he will play but he will participate in pregame warmups before a final decision is made on his status, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: Patterson had been listed as questionable on the injury report after participating in just one limited practice session during the week. If he is declared active for this afternoon's game, he can be a starting option in all fantasy leagues. If Patterson is unable to suit up, Tyler Allgeier would become a viable RB2 option in many leagues.

From TheHuddle

Cairo Santos Oct 2 8:53am ET
Cairo Santos

Chicago Bears PK Cairo Santos (personal) has been ruled out for Week 4's game against the New York Giants because of a personal issue. PK Michael Badgley, who was recently signed to the practice squad and then elevated to the active roster, will serve as the team's kicker.

Fantasy Spin: Fantasy owners who have Santos on their roster should be able to find more reliable kicking options on the waiver wire.

From TheHuddle